Mississippi State tied with Alabama at 24 in the 4th

Mississippi State tied with Alabama at 24 in the 4th

Mississippi State tied with Alabama at 24 in the 4th

Alabama scored 14 unanswered fourth-quarter points, including the decisive touchdown coming with only 25 seconds remaining, to come from behind and crush the dreams of Mississippi State.

The two teams were held scoreless for the remainder of the half, with Alabama edging Mississippi State in total yards, 191-172, through the first two quarters. The Bulldogs blitzed on the play, but couldn't quite get to Hurts and the Tide signal caller hit receiver Calvin Ridley on a 31-yard strike to set up the winning touchdown.

"I can't tell you how happy and excited I am for the players", Saban said.

That included a pair of third-down conversions on quarterback keepers in the second quarter, and a 1-yard touchdown run late in the first quarter to tie the game at 7 with 1:43 left in the quarter.

The Crimson Tide improve to 10-0 overall, and 7-0 in Southeastern Conference play, while the Bulldogs drop to 7-3 on the season and 3-3 in SEC play. Mississippi State pushed ahead 7-0 in the first quarter on an 11-yard touchdown run by Aeris Williams. "We have two more games left in the regular season". Four plays later, Pappanastos converted the 30-yard field goal attempt to give the Tide the lead for the first time in the game with 12:33 left in the third quarter.

"It hurts", said Mississippi State quarterback Nick Fitzgerald, who threw two Hail Mary attempts to no avail in the closing moments.

"If we did everything we could have done, we would have won the game", Mullen said.

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Rodriguez moved across the goalmouth toward the post and hooked the ball clear as he fell backward into the goal. But then Ricardo Rodriguez volleyed it off the line and that was that.

"It's frustrating", MSU head coach Dan Mullen said.

The Crimson Tide offense answered once again, with Hurts scampering 13 yards on a crucial fourth-and-five from the MSU 34-yard line to keep the Tide drive alive and the ideal 12-for-12 fourth down conversion rate this season intact. "We're going to come after you".

Ridley's average of 34.2 yards per catch was his highest of the year, as the Florida native found ways to burn the Bulldogs' defensive backfield on precise routes. It wasn't just that Mississippi State ran up huge time of possession advantages and ran many more offensive plays than the Tide.

In the third quarter, when MSU quarterback Nick Fitzgerald scored on a 2-yard run to put the Bulldogs up 21-17, State had its third rushing touchdown of the night - the first time Alabama had ever allowed three rushing scores in one game while under the guidance of Saban. Ridley again caught a 61-yard pass from Hurts. Williams ran for 97 yards and two touchdowns.

Alabama returns to action Saturday, Nov. 18 against Mercer at Bryant-Denny Stadium.

Mississippi State has nothing to be ashamed of.

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